How many of us have had a student ask, “Where is [blank]?” While sometimes, this may be a simple oversight, it may also denote a navigation problem. In looking at accessibility, course organization is essential and can significantly impact a student’s ability to navigate the course with ease.
If I asked you to list the most important things any class could have, what might you say? Personally, I imagine Socrates asking questions and guiding students along to a pre-determined and yet (somehow) fresh and transformative conclusion.
Headings are a critical, but often overlooked, aspect of creating accessible content in Blackboard. Headers “provide screen reader users the ability to jump directly to specific content,” which allows them to navigate through content at their own pace.
You may have noticed the increased focus on the word “accessibility” in the last year. Wichita State, like most other universities, is seeing a shift toward the concepts of accessibility and universal design for learning (UDL) as we enrich our idea of “accommodation” and move from being primarily reactive to proactive in course design.
About a month ago, I wrote a blog about accessibility. The focus being on the idea that accessibility is Not Just Tech. When talking about accessibility, I am not just describing the ability to retrieve information or resources, but the ability to use and understand those resources and materials. Accessibility is about more than just technical solutions to inaccessible information. It’s about ensuring that every student has an equal opportunity to be successful.
Since we’ve been discussing technical and practical ways to improve accessibility in online learning, I offer my story to give life to what we do.
Being an occasional web designer, text styles have been pretty deeply ingrained in me since the days of Netscape, AOL, and Lycos. (Did I just date myself?) I’ll operate on the assumption that for most folks, text styles include 3 or 4 categories: bold, underline, italic, and perhaps color.
For weeks we’ve been talking about Accessibility. Though at one point this was a highly under-discussed topic, it is one that deserves the attention it is now getting.
When designing online courses, it can be very tempting to use a lot of color to catch your students’ attention, point out important information, and dress up your course content. Unfortunately, even the smallest choices in color can present challenges for students. One of our greatest challenges when designing online courses is designing for “readability.” Readability standards ask that content of your courses be written in clear, precise language that is well structured.